This weekend I finished the book ‘Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal’ by Nick Bilton. Written in 2014, the book goes into the story of how the social media giant Twitter, was born.
While some books written about businesses can be rather dry, this book was written in a novel style and featured a few photos, email text and plenty of behind the scenes drama, not to mention a little peek into Silicon Valley. Before reading the book, I hadn’t thought too much about Twitter’s history, but the last few times I have opened the app since finishing the book, I definitely thought deeper into it. A few fun facts…
- Despite popular belief, Twitter was not a result of one person’s idea. It was created by accident after a few failed start-ups and the four people who deserve the credit are Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass.
- There was a major divide on how the app should be used. Today, when you go to type a Tweet, the question “What’s happening?” pops up. However, at one point it said, “what are you doing?” As minimal as this may seem, it’s a key indicator on the divide between wanting Twitter to be a place to share what you are doing vs. a place where you share what’s going on around you.
- Ashton Kutcher, Vice President Al Gore and Facebook all tried to purchase Twitter in its earlier days.
- Twitter has a character limit because initially Jack Dorsey designed it to be an SMS-based platform.
- Twitter employees did not ever intend to start using the ever-popular hashtag. Users started incorporating them into their tweets to tie them together and Twitter introduced the hashtag search tool and trending topics a few years later.